Everton manager David Moyes on Friday underlined the gap in spending power between the Toffees and Liverpool since Kenny Dalglish returned to the Anfield hotseat.
Dalglish has been given solid backing by owner John W Henry, who has funded moves for Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Jose Enrique, Stewart Downing and Sebastian Coates.
Moyes in contrast has had to make do with four loan signings and a nominal fee for Apostolos Vellios.
And the difference was not lost on Moyes ahead of Saturday's 216th Merseyside derby.
"It's always been a tough game for us because we're up against good opposition, and Liverpool have always had a level of finance which has allowed them to buy a different level of player than us," said Moyes.
"Over the years we've tried to be competitive, tried to get as close to them as we can.
"We know it's a big rivalry in the city, and I'm aware of that, but most people are aware there have been differences over the years between Liverpool and Everton, and all of it has been financial."
Looking back to before Dalglish's return Moyes said: "This time last year Liverpool weren't in great condition. They were maybe in a similar situation to us here where they were having to give money back to the banks.
"The supporters were quite restless at the time, but they've had new owners, a change of manager and brought in new players, so they have turned it around quite a lot.
"That's there for everybody to see and everybody knows that. At this present time we've not got the funds Liverpool have had given to them in the last year. That's given them a big help."
He added that "with a little bit of help ... we could have been up there competing."
But he added: "We have always worked within our means, and in many seasons the same things have happened and we've still always found a way of getting there, so hopefully we can do that again this year.